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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 3, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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it will be a full hour of news at 6:00 p.m., we'll see you then. on this saturday night, deadly inferno. dozens trapped and feared killed in california after fire breaks out, and the ceiling collapses at a warehouse party. tonight, the safety issues being raised as loved ones wait for word on those still missing. controversial call. the unprecedented phone conversation between president-elect trump d the president of taiwan and how it could alter u.s.-china relations. global reach, the expanding ambitions of the right wing media company that championed donald trump for president and sees a bigger opportunity after his election. and inspiring america. two young athletes on two different teams. why would one help the other make it to the finish line? nightly news begins now.
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♪ >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz balart. good evening. we begin with an unfolding tragedy in northern california where it appears there could be a staggering death toll after a fire broke out at a warehouse being used for a party. it happened last night in oakland, just across the bay from san francisco. officials say they are preparing for the possibility as many as 40 people may have lost their lives. and the questions about safety in that building are growing tonight. nbc's gadi schwartz is there and reports on the very latest. >> reporter: overnight in oakland a late night party turned into a warehouse inferno. inside, dozens unable to escape what firefighters described as a worst case scenario. >> there is just a
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tragedy and there is no easy answers right now. >> reporter: today as the smoke clears, yellow tarps confirming a gut-wrenching death toll expected to climb. firefighters say about 75 people were inside the warehouse known as the oakland ghost ship when a fire broke out on the second story. the space home to a handful of artists most inside last night were young and there for what most described as a rave. >> some of these folks are not from within the united states. they are visitors. >> reporter: bob tried to save one of his roommates but the flames were too intense. >> i was pulling him out. he was a larger gentleman. and there was a lot of stuff in the way. and the flames were too much. >> reporter: now, the facebook page set up to advertise the concert is a message board for family and friends trying to find any information on the missing. >> if my brother is there i want to find him. >> reporter: there are serious questions about the safety of the building where other raves have been held. pictures from before the fire show the warehouse with a maze-like entrance and not enough exits.
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inside, piles of wood, furniture, flammable paint, and a second story only accessible by some sort of makeshift wooden makeshift wooden palet staircase. >> it is not deemed a crime scene. i want to make that perfectly clear. >> reporter: now authorities are working on piecing together everything that went wrong as a community struggles to come to grips with what is expected to become one of the deadliest structure fires in california's history. right now the death toll stands at nine with over two dozen still unaccounted for. tonight we can confirm there is an investigation into this building into zoning code violations. when firefighters got here last night there was no smoke alarm nor a sprinkler system that could have saved lives. jose back to you. >> gadi schwartz, thank you very much. there is another big fire we are following tonight. this one just outside boston there. has been a massive response to the blaze that claimed multiple buildings. thankfully no reports of serious injuries but the fire is still
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raging. we get more from nbc's ray vieira. >> reporter: firefighters and police raced to cambridge, a boston suburb. as a ten-alarm fire raged through at least six buildings torching several cars. they worked through the blaze to make rescues. >> multiple police officers went into the buildings and assisted in the evacuation of the residents. >> reporter: authorities believe it started in a building under construction around 3:00 this afternoon. the winds whipped up the fire as it spread to surrounding homes, a church, and even knocking out power throughout the area. >> it's scary. you know, i think about my own family. >> reporter: streets are closed off as neighbors by the bus loads make their way to safety seeking shelter from the flames. ray vieira, nbc news. a great deal of discussion around the world today about a controversial phone call between president-elect donald trump and the president of taiwan. the u.s. broke formal relations with taiwan almost four decades ago as part of its recognition of china. tonight many are wondering whether the phone call signals a potential policy
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shift. we get more from nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: today in china millions watched government-run tv report on donald trump's controversial conversation, a ten-minute call that upended decades of careful diplomacy. taiwan's president seized on the moment by releasing photos of her on the phone with trump, provoking china to complain to the obama administration that had no advance knowledge of the call. >> it does suggest that we have a president-elect coming in who is very unfamiliar with some of the diplomatic challenges that the united states faces. >> reporter: since the days when nixon opened the door to china, no issue has been more sensitive for china than the status of taiwan, an island territory that governs itself but the u.s. does not formally recognize. i'm janice mackie frayer in beijing where the call was taken as a serious
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affront. if it is a mistake it is likely to blow over. if it was strategic there is the chance of a major rift between u.s.-china relations before trump's presidency even gets started. >> candidate trump lashed at how china twists the economic knife. >> we can't continue to allow china to rape our country. and that's what they are doing. >> reporter: the u.s. trades with taiwan, including sending u.s. made weapons there. >> reporter: trump used twitter to challenge his critics. "interesting how the u.s. sells taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but i should not accept a congratulatory call?" today the president-elect's allies say trump may be sending a signal. >> china is extremely relevant to us but we can't let china run all over our intellectual property and do cyber hacking and let it go unchecked. >> trump's initial moves on the world stage come without the person who will become his ultimate chief diplomat. the secretary of state position is still open.
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tonight sources familiar with his selection process tell me, jose, he wants to interview other candidates and is not feeling pressure to make an immediate decision. >> kelly o'donnell thank you. much more on this tomorrow morning on meet the press. vice president-elect mike pence will be among chuck todd's guests. in louisiana new details emerged about the suspect in the shooting of a former nl player during a confrontation two days ago. >> reporter: grief and heartache as the family of joe mcknight laid flowers at the spot where the former nfl running back was shot and killed in an apparent road rage incident. his mother jennifer heart broken. >> i can't believe it. my child is gone. >> reporter: his sister describes him as a driven and hard working father and athlete. >> joe touched a lot of people, he loved to joke, laugh. joe took you in like you was his family even if he met you for the first time. >> reporter: friday authorities say they
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released 54-year-old shooting suspect ronald gasser from custody without filing charges. the sheriff saying a thorough investigation needs to be completed. >> when we shoot and kill somebody, the question is -- it's a homicide. the question is, is it justified or not? >> reporter: according to the sheriff, gasser was involved in another violent confrontation at the same intersection ten years ago. the alleged victim in 2006 told investigators gasser followed him to a service station after he tried to report him for unsafe driving and punched him several times. charges against gasser were ultimately dismissed. mcknight's family remembers his legacy. >> he made a point that's going to keep pushing forward to make a future. he stressed that with his son, you can do whatever you want, but school comes first. >> reporter: and mourns what could have been. nbc news, harvey, louisiana. in brazil today tens of thousands of people paid their
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respects to members of that soccer team who were killed in a plane crash in colombia five days ago as video emerges of one of six people who survived the crash. >> reporter: thousands packed the stadium to say a final good-bye to the players who made their country so proud. today's service came after dramatic video taken moments after the crash. that's one of the plane's surviving crew members. in the video, he calls over and over again for his colleagues, not knowing their terrible fate. monday's crash took the lives of 77 people. 19 of them players for brazil's soccer team. it has been more than six weeks since iraqi officials began what they now say is going to be a long operation to retake mosul from isis. as isis is driven out of the surrounding cities they leave behind a hidden and deadly threat.
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nbc's lucy cavanaugh reports from inside iraq. >> reporter: this is what isis leaves behind. in villages surrounding mosul, the fighters may have moved on. their ability to kill remains. inside the kitchen, a bomb, a pressure switch on the floor, and another inside the freezer. a child's footstep could set off one of these bombs, but the pressure from the blast, the power from the blast is strong enough to completely destroy a vehicle. mosul was known for its plastics factories, and the militants were turning these bombs out by the thousands. >> so far there are ten casualties among the villagers. >> reporter: salaam mohammad has defused explosives around the world with the mines advisory group or mag but he says this is the worst he has ever seen. >> don't get close to that. >> reporter: this makes me nervous. these bombs haven't been defused. how many mines are laid here by isis in these districts? >> hundreds and thousands. >> reporter: clearing them is a dangerous and painstaking task.
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the goal, to make it safe enough for families to return. for salaam, who is from iraq, it's personal. >> all the children, i take them as my children, that's why we are there, to save their lives. >> reporter: he has told these little ones where not to play. their grandfather raised two generations in this home. there is no electricity or running water, barely any food, and now a funeral to plan. his son was killed when he stepped on an isis mine. he says day and night i miss my son. this family arrived a day ago, and so salaam has cleared their home, too. these kids are getting life saving lessons from mag. how to play safely, what not to touch, and how to survive the peace after living through the war against isis. lucy cavanaugh, nbc news, iraq. in europe, the man some have called austria's donald trump is one of two
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candidates voters will choose from tomorrow in that country's presidential election. populism is growing in europe. statement -- at the same time, the media company that embraced trump here is expanding its reach there as breitbart senses a bigger opportunity. nbc's matt bradley has more on this from london. >> reporter: breitbart's steven bannon has shown how big right wing media can dream. now the company he led before joining the trump campaign is taking its show on the road with plans to expand to germany and france. as populist candidates and causes are showing increased strength in ballot boxes across europe. >> we are going to continue to be fighters and pick fights that matter. i think our brand is unique in america. i think that we when expand abroad we'll prove it's unique there as well. >> reporter: last month bannon praised france's la penn, the the 26-year-old scion of the family who founded the far right national front party. la penn tweeted she wanted to work with
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breitbart. la penn told nbc that the rise of the internet has given a voice to right wing active theists like herself. -- activists like herself. that worries traditional journalists. >> all of them have this anti-immigrant and thinly veiled racist undertone to them. that's the unifying factor. >> reporter: breitbart has written extensively about tommy robinson who founded the far right english defense league. >> they called me nazi. media have called me a nazi. i despise nazis. i hate racism. >> reporter: he was so suspicious of us he recorded his own live broadcast of our conversation for his social media followers. you are recording this conversation, putting it on peri scope, why is that? >> i've been in many interviews, you can watch one from al jazeera. i don't know what report you are going to go on. i don't trust you media. that's the truth. i don't trust any mainstream media. >> reporter: he is not alone, the london editor info wars, a
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more conspiratorial right wing website didn't respond to nbc's interview request. instead its editor tweeted our e-mail saying he won't speak to quote, fake news. it is a hostility to traditional media that breitbart sees as an opportunity. does the uk need a breitbart? >> yeah. the uk needs a breitbart. >> reporter: yeah? >> yeah. >> reporter: to do what exactly? >> tell the truth. tell the truth. that's all people want is the truth. >> reporter: matt bradley. nbc news, london. still ahead a new wave of migrants crossing into the united states from central america as the debate over immigration intensifies. also, inspiring america. the memorable moment in a high school competition that no one saw coming.
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with less than two months until president-elect trump takes office the debate in this country over immigration is heating up. it coincides with another influx of migrants in south texas, which has seen a sharp increase in the last couple of months. gabe gutierrez went to the border to find out why and how the idea of a wall is figuring into the debate. >> reporter: at the u.s.-mexico border, this year's onslaught is different. agents like marlene castro not just chasing smugglers. >> they drop their bundles of narcotics. >> reporter: but now dealing with more families from central america who are running to u.s. officials, not from them, surrendering and seeking asylum from violence back home.
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apprehensions along on the southwest border along the rio grande are rising, 20,000 more this october than two years ago, the largest spike since the massive surge of unaccompanied minors during the summer of 2014. >> traveling through here, the biggest problem would be the brush. of course the heat and humidity. >> reporter: the federal government just sent 150 more agents here to process the migrants. if the flow seems never ending, so does the debate over how best to secure the border. only from the air do you really get a sense of the winding scope of the river. more than 300 miles in the rio grande valley alone. the landscape, a monumental challenge for one of president-elect donald trump's signature promises, building a wall. would it be worth it? >> yes, i never look at one singular solution to a very complex problem. >> reporter: the sector chief says a
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brick and mortar wall is only part of the answer. >> it includes aircraft. it includes technology. in some places the fence is absolutely necessary. >> reporter: at the sacred heart church, this sister and her volunteers are helping more than 300 migrants a day, many wearing ankle monitors awaiting immigration court hearings. she says a wall wouldn't address the cause of the influx, violence and poverty in central america. >> there is no justification to send back people that are hurting that more than likely are going to end up getting killed back home. >> reporter: this woman brought her 5-year-old son on a harrowing three-week journey from el salvador after she says a gang murdered her nephew. we are all human, she says. these are their first moments on american soil. an immigration judge will decide if it will be their last. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, mccowan, texas. up next, the close
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encounter you will not want to miss.
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some tourists certainly got their money's worth off the coast of south australia when a 12 foot long great white shark not only the bait but look at it, jumped completely out of the water. while some watched it from a boat others got to see it unfold from a shark cage beneath the surface. a close encounter they will not soon forget. the annual list of the most popular dog
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names is out. there is a survey, it's compiled by the folks at rover.com. this year' top names for male dogs, max, charlie, buddy, cooper and jack. female dogs, bella, lucy, female dogs, lucy, daisy, lola and luna at the top of the list. more than half pet owners say they named their pets offer a book or movie character. we named our pet senorita chocolate. but it's not on the list. when we come back, our inspiring america report. when kindness wins out over competition.
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finally tonight, in the world of sports, from the pros all the way down to the school level, it's not every day that a member of one team will lend a helping hand to an opponent. but that is just what happened at a recent high school cross country meet in minnesota. boyd hooper of our minneapolis station, kare, has tonight's inspiring america report. >> reporter: last year as a seventh grader gracie booker finished just two runners back from the trip to the state cross country meet. >> everyone is like you are going to make it next year. i was excited. >> reporter: number 744 was still excited at the start this year's section meet. fast forward now to the finish line. gracie just coming into view, is in trouble. >> the windham girl is struggling. >> i just wanted to cross the finish line. >> reporter: then this. gracie pulls herself up.
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>> she keeps falling. >> reporter: and then bad gets worse. gracie's mother watched it all. >> i was told you can't go out. you can't go out. and people were screaming you can't touch her. you can touch her. >> can't touch her! >> reporter: it is a high school cross country rule. helping could lead to disqualification. >> i just wanted somebody to do something. >> just crawl! >> reporter: gracie's "somebody" is about to arrive. >> her body just gave out on her. >> reporter: the mystery runner to gracie at least is wearing the colors of mountain lake. you are with me. i've got you. she told gracie. >> she is like my angel, i think. >> reporter: then gracie's angel all but carried her across the finish line, and in doing so broke the rules. senior leanna blundgren in her final high school race was like gracie, disqualified. >> especially her senior year, her last race. it means everything to
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me. >> i don't remember what place i was in in the section meet last year or the year before that but i know i'm going to remember this. >> reporter: gracie's falls were later linked to an undiagnosed case of mono. the flowers were the first arrival at mountain lake high school. >> it was thanks for being my angel. >> the second was even more personal. >> i got her dq'd so i figured i better do it again. >> reporter: there is no denying gracie's angel -- >> thank you. >> reporter: -- broke the rules. rules that will change next season. >> thank you. >> yeah, no problem. >> reporter: when runners will be free to stop and help without repercussions. too late for leanna. who didn't forget, the most important value -- rule is golden. boyd hooper, nbc news, mountain lake, minnesota. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm jose diaz balart. reporting from new york. thank you for the privilege of your
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time. good night. scene right now from our nbc chopper. warehouse, dubbed ghost ship, now a charred hulk. ==garvin//boxes== good evening. i'm garvin thomas. ==jess//boxes== i'm jessica aguirre. a party at a warehouse turns
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into tragedy. raj mathai is anchoring our coverage live at the scene tonight. ==raj//boxes== raj ad-libs ==raj//live= ==add rail== ==sidemap== ==raj//vidbox== ==take sot== ==raj//boxes== we have team coverage with reporters throughout the

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